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Parish on track to cut 17 employees

St. Landry Parish Government is on track to cut 17 jobs as part of a plan to bring spending in line with revenue.
Parish President Bill Fontenot said nine people were off the payroll as of Wednesday’s Administrative-Finance Committee meeting.
Another six jobs will be eliminated within seven days, he said.
Some of the employees were eligible for retirement and others have leave time, which had to be cleared from the books, he said.
The staff reduction is part of plan to deal with an operating deficit, which was projected to be about $700,000 at the end of 2016.
Amanda Cain, a former accountant at LSUE who was hired to help parish government toe the budget line this year, said the budget “is as bad as we projected it to be.”
But Cain added, “We still have a good ways to go before we get there, before I can give an accurate account of where we are...”
Cain, in a report to the committee, said she is now reviewing purchase orders and invoices for approval.
Fontenot said a full budget report is planned for the February Parish Council meeting. That would allow a report of complete January numbers, he said.
The 2017 budget includes the layoffs, $104,000 cut in mandated expenses and $250,000 in miscellaneous expense reductions. The budget also included shuffling about $550,000 in video poker revenue from the Road and Bridge Fund to the General Fund.
Also at the meeting, Fontenot explained that a Fund 52 is from off-track betting at the Evangeline Downs facility in Eunice. The fund generates about $2,000 a month in revenue, which is split between the parish and the city of Eunice. The parish uses the money for equipment repairs, he said.

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